Is it okay for Ismailis to eat pork?
Mawlana Hazar Imam gave guidance in 1960s for the Jamat that pork is forbidden and for the Jamat to never eat it. He explained that it has been forbidden throughout history for Ismailis, just as it has been for all Muslims. He further added that consuming pork causes animalistic qualities in the human being.
To appreciate how eating pork could imprint animalistic qualities (savagery) of the lower soul on our human soul, it must be understood that the human soul contains three levels of souls:
- vegetative soul
- animal soul
- rational soul
When we consume an animal, the particles of its animal soul merge with our own animal soul and cause some of the animal's qualities to become part of the human soul. "...if your body maintains a state of balance in its elements, it will be free from disease. Otherwise its condition will be upset. He must then abstain from unsuitable foods. He may thus infer that if one abstains from excesses, and in every thing observes a proper measure, not deviating from it to either side, and if he purifies his moral self, whenever he discovers in himself the properties of brutes and beasts, he then acquires human properties, and purifies himself. And when his heart has become pure, and doubt and dishonesty leave his mind, when, he acquires certainty in the recognition of the Imam of his time, seeing him as everywhere present before him, looking upon him, he then reaches the stage of self evident certainty, and attains the stage of absolute truth when his heart becomes enlightened by the absolute light and in that light he begins to see his soul. Thereafter he begins to see with absolute, self-evidence the place in which his Creator is."
- Imam Shah Gharib Mirza, Pandiyat-i-Jawanmardi, p. 24 (tr. by W. Ivanow)
"The flesh of swine, which symbolises someone who mentions the true da'wat out of greed, seeking worldly leadership and wreaking havoc on religion, just as swine, due to greed, destroy the tillage of people in which lies the life of their souls. In th e zahir bodies are destroyed by the destruction of cultivated land. Similarly, souls are destroyed by the destruction of the da'wat, which is the cultivation of the batin."
- Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i-Din, Ch. 44
(Above drawing by Jean-Claude Thibault)